Author Topic: The future doesn't look too bright.  (Read 3535 times)

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blykins

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The future doesn't look too bright.
« on: August 12, 2022, 11:56:11 AM »
Jay, feel free to move this to the non-FE discussion, but I figured since it involved the FE engine builders, it would be pertinent to the main forum.

Just heard a few minutes ago that Lance Smith (Craft Performance) has went out of business.  Closed his doors.  That just really saddens me.  I know other engine builders are competition to me, but I don't want to see anyone lose their business and not be able to support their families.   Everyone say a prayer for Lance and all the guys that worked there and for all the others in the industry right now.   Not being able to get parts to get engines out the door has become a real stumbling block. 

I contacted Mahle last week about a set of custom pistons for an FE build.  25 weeks.  I know there are other options available, but what happens when you have to wait 6 months to make an engine leave the shop? 

Lance, if you're reading this, I'm really sorry man.   I hope you can find work quickly. 
Brent Lykins
Lykins Motorsports
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jayb

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2022, 01:21:18 PM »
I found out about this early this week.  Lance is a stand up guy,  and he told me he is working on getting everyone their parts or deposits back.  A set of my heads were at his place for one of his customers, and those have been returned to me.  I wish Lance the best, and hope he is successful in anything he does going forward.  For our group of engine enthusiasts, I think its really sad to see another good FE engine builder close up shop. 
Jay Brown
- 1969 Mach 1, Drag Week 2005 Winner NA/BB, 511" FE (10.60s @ 129); Drag Week 2007 Runner-Up PA/BB, 490" Supercharged FE (9.35 @ 151)
- 1964 Ford Galaxie, Drag Week 2009 Winner Modified NA (9.50s @ 143), 585" SOHC
- 1969 Shelby Clone, Drag Week 2015 Winner Modified NA (Average 8.98 @ 149), 585" SOHC

   

badcatt

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2022, 02:13:32 PM »
I read about this earlier today on Facebook, It was a complainer post. This is a hard time for all builders. I was talking to a friend who is having a 351C built locally, He wants a set of Edelbrock heads on t. But they are not currently available. He was bouncing that and the option of finding a set of 1970 4V iron heads off me.
I looked at Jegs for the #61625 heads. They are listing a shipping date if 8/9/2024 pending manufacturer availability. Nothing like a 2 year lead time...

I hope Lance is able to land on his feet when this is all over with.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2022, 05:10:01 PM by badcatt »

e philpott

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2022, 03:36:35 PM »
Bummer , total bummer

BattlestarGalactic

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2022, 06:16:28 PM »
Saw this on FB.

It's everywhere, in every industry.

My shop deals in injection molding screws/barrels.  I had a 4 month lead time on 3 pcs of SS bar stock.  Even 4140HT can takes weeks instead of days.  Nobody has anything in stock.  If they do, you can get the random length quickly.  If you want a cut length, that can be weeks wait.


Bimetallic lining material used to be 4-6 weeks.  Right now we have an order that is 37 weeks out.  There used to be four suppliers in the US.  Now there is ONE!

Ive lived through some rough times, but in my 36 yrs at this company I have never had such a bleak outlook.

We are all screwed.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2022, 06:18:33 PM by BattlestarGalactic »
Larry

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2022, 09:53:06 PM »
Ya know I had my own business on a main road for 24 years and there was a repair shop right across the street. The shop is still there but I’m not the owner my partner is but in the 30 years there has been 7 or 8 shops go in and out of there and sometimes things can look a little bleak but you keep plugging along. Nobody likes to see a man go out of business especially if you know them. But the silver lining is that there’s some more customers out there that they are going to look at Brent, Blair, Jay, Barry, Ross and a few others. With all the problems getting parts it makes it tough to get stuff in and out of the shop but you gotta keep plugging along.

CV355

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2022, 07:36:37 AM »
It's crazy out there right now in all industries.  My wife and I work in industrial automation.  Certain items that used to be a 2-3 week leadtime are now upwards of 40-90 week leadtimes.  Machine shops used to quote me anywhere from 6-10 weeks for full drawing packages and now they're up in the 16-20wk range.  As for prices, I have been getting multiple emails a week from various suppliers indicating price increases from 3% to 40%.  It's insane.  And, everyone is blaming Covid for supply chain issues, but most of the companies I'm working with didn't shut down, and only had reduced production for a 3-4 month period in 2020.  You'd think that bullwhip effect would have already ended. 

TJ

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2022, 08:04:01 AM »
Really sucks to see a good business with a long standing reputation (like Craft Engines) go down.  Whatever is that's happening has a wide swath.  In the chemical industry, formulas often take years to test and develop.  Shortage of just one raw material messes everything up.  It's been whack-o-mole for the past couple years solving one shortage or another.

I went a bit nuts on the FE for my old truck 7 fast years ago.  Glad I did when I did.  It's been fun and still running great.

On the plus side, there are honest paying jobs out there...at least for now.

Falcon67

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2022, 09:21:51 AM »
I can relate to all the above.  Network Engineer - we have an outstanding order for about $180,000 in wifi and network switch units.  They are trickling in, but it's totally random.  Our access control systems parts are getting somewhat better on the control board side, but I have trouble getting door readers.  Like - right now, fergetaboutit.  We use iClass contactless access cards at work and I have a back order at HID open for 1000 cards since November 2021.  They can't get the good, durable card material - we may have to buy some sub-standard cards to get by, or make a big $$$$$ investment to move to mobile credentials. 

The NHRA Bracket Finals are set at Ardmore - I note that for this year, they are expecting half the normal teams because tracks have either closed or gone IHRA.  And the team size has been reduced from 50 plus alternates to 30.  Each team can field a "spoiler' team of racers that are there for the fun but don't count for team points.  I haven't made the two race minimum so won't be going this year.  We made one early trip before fuel spiked and I broke the car on Friday, so didn't even make a single pass LOL

Lots of Help Wanted around town - I don't attribute that to anything "nefarious" - decent housing is high buck, more like a city with 2 or 3 times out population and you can move 150 miles in any particular direction and make 2~3 times what people are willing to pay out here. 


GA445

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2022, 09:58:23 AM »
When you look at the big picture it even gets bleaker, the manufacturers are not quoting long lead times because of the volume of orders but because of material shortages on their end. Taking this all into consideration you have to ask yourself what their employees are doing during this down, they need to feed their families and pay bills, qualified help is hard enough to find without laying them off and hoping to get them back. Just in time supply theory has resulted in Just in time to close the doors

BattlestarGalactic

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2022, 11:19:48 AM »
From my viewpoint, the long wait times all leads back to lack of workforce.  That is what I hear from suppliers.  Materials are hard to get and I would bet that is lack of workers at the mills.  If not the mills, it's the mines not producing due to workers.  Etc.....

Larry

chilly460

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2022, 11:42:59 AM »
Saw that as well.  Same deal with my machinist, he was sort of semi retired but had plenty of work.  I had my 462” block and bottom end there and one day got the cal to come pick up my junk, he was closing shop.  Kind of left me in a bind as he didn’t balance it, which is odd as he had all the parts, but it stalled the project.  Car is running with the little 390 in it so no big deal, can’t imagine the frustration for guys that need to get their engine together to get a car completed

brettco

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2022, 12:38:59 PM »
 The talk on fb was people not getting a call or email to pick their stuff up- that was the problem.  I went through this with my hi tech cobra an engine that both took a year longer than I was quoted and both went out of business during that extra year. One guy had his numbers original gt500 block in the shop. Scary.

fe468stroker

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2022, 01:01:43 PM »
Everyone is right about the supply chain being in limbo.  The added frustration of finding good help just compounds the problem.  Everywhere you see signs wanting employees even with great sign on bonuses.  The shop owners can't do all the work themselves even if they had the parts or the time.  It is very sad that long time engine builders are forced out of business and Lance is a good example.  If this continues used parts will go out of sight because new castings and such are unobtainable even in the distant future.  The average person couldn't afford to build their dream FE.

pbf777

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Re: The future doesn't look too bright.
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2022, 01:07:51 PM »
From my viewpoint, the long wait times all leads back to lack of workforce. 


     This is as I see it, as one having been in this industry for forty years;.........no one wants to do a job anymore particularly where their hands will get dirty!  These days I see more working age individuals wandering around in the middle of the day in obviously not working attire, and hence, evidently leading to an extreme drop-off of potential employees being available to businesses. This only seems possible due to the Covid experience with the Government hand-outs incentivising the population to become non-workers, which has shall we say, led them down the economic ladder into accepting less, in order to be free to do as they wish, versus the necessity of having to actually work for a living.   :(

     And as Margret Thatcher once said: "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”   ;)

     And how are we doing?  Just take a look at the current National Dept!   :o

     Scott.